“Making Marriage Simple” By Harville Hendrix, Helen LaKelly Hunt

In this year’s Making Marriage Simple: 10 Truths for Changing the Relationship You Have into the One You Want, counselors Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt have developed a “blueprint” of sorts for couples in committed relationships.

If you’re not already familiar with authors Hendrix and Hunt, they’re also married to each other and are the creators of Imago Relationship Therapy.

Another interesting qualification? Years ago these relationship experts were close to divorce themselves. They actually tried a bunch of different couples counselors: Hunt says “the fifth therapist even called us the couple from hell” (Rebecca KleinThe Huffington Post).

Today they presumably have the kind of “Partnership Marriage” that’s advocated in Making Marriage Simple. An Amazon reader/reviewer reveals the 10 truths the authors say are the keys. (For more details, we may have to actually read the book.)

  1. Romantic Love is a Trick
  2. Incompatibility is Grounds for Marriage
  3. Conflict is Growth Trying to Happen
  4. Being Present for Each Other Heals the Past
  5. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
  6. Negativity Is Invisible Abuse
  7. Negativity Is a Wish in Disguise
  8. Your Brain Has a Mind of Its Own
  9. Your Marriage is a Laughing Matter
  10. Your Marriage is Your Best Life Insurance Plan

More info from the Publishers Weekly‘s review:

The overall message—built on an enthusiastic notion of marriage as the core institution of society and following a structure of specific communication exercises—is one that divorce-happy America may not be ready to hear: ‘the best way to heal a relationship is not to repair the two people, but the Space between them.’ Hendrix and Hunt’s focus on gentleness, reflective listening, and removing negativity forms a decidedly common-sense approach to marriage. Base this in a clear and methodical approach, and you’ve got a workable manual for couples committed to doing a better job living a modern married life—for their own sake and their partner’s.

John and Julie Gottman, another well-regarded therapist pair who both specialize in couples work, also give Making Marriage Simple a thumbs up:

This book ought to be in every bride and groom’s gift basket. Not only have Hendrix and Hunt created a delightful and easy-to-read guide to what every marriage needs, but they have done it by also revealing their own personal struggles (with their very happy ending) to the reader. We absolutely loved the cartoons. The book is the ideal combination of useful advice and very specific tips, and a real understanding of the huge benefits a new couple will gain from a lasting, intimate relationship. Here’s how to make that happen!

And singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, a fan of the authors, observes that their newest book is a distillation of their “greatest hits.”

You can watch the book trailer below:

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